Downtown Organizations Unite to Launch Milwaukee Theater District


MILWAUKEE (Nov. 28, 2022) – Nine performing arts and live entertainment organizations, along with other supportive entities, are pleased to announce the launch of the Milwaukee Theater District (MTD), which is designed to position Milwaukee’s live entertainment scene as the best in the nation.
While locals may be aware of the caliber of venues and talent in Milwaukee, it’s time for the rest of the world to learn that with 15,000 theater seats, the Milwaukee Theater District ranks No. 1 in the United States for the highest number of theater seats per capita. With a combined 2,100 annual performances attracting 2 million attendees each year, the Milwaukee Theater District is a core part of Milwaukee's larger entertainment industry, which generates an estimated $400 million in visitor spending annually, according to Tourism Economics. As part of that impact, Milwaukee Theater District venues proudly employ over 1,000 Milwaukeeans and even more volunteers, drawing from all corners of the community and all walks of life.
The purpose of the Milwaukee Theater District is to drive increased awareness of and attendance at Milwaukee's premier arts, live performance, and entertainment venues. While the district has no formal borders, participating venues are all located in a safe and convenient walkable cluster in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. Through advocacy and collaborative marketing campaigns, the Milwaukee Theater District seeks to increase visitation, stoke local pride, and enhance the city's reputation as a top-tier arts and cultural destination.
Milwaukee Theater District venues include:
  • Bradley Symphony Center
  • Marcus Performing Arts Center
  • Wisconsin Center District
  • Miller High Life Theatre
  • Milwaukee Repertory Theater
  • Pabst Theater
  • Pabst Theater Group
  • Riverside Theater
  • Sunstone Theater
  • The ARC Theatre at Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel
  • Turner Hall Ballroom
Milwaukee Theater District performance groups include:
  • First Stage
  • Florentine Opera
  • Milwaukee Ballet
  • Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Milwaukee Theater District is also supported by:
  • Milwaukee Downtown BID21
  • United Performing Arts Fund
  • VISIT Milwaukee
Through strategic campaigns that include paid and earned media and community events, the Milwaukee Theater District will add momentum to Milwaukee’s cultural scene after the devastating effects of the pandemic. Investment in the Milwaukee Theater District venues’ programming, buildings and attendee experience has increased the caliber of live entertainment offerings, and the Milwaukee Theater District will capitalize on this. Goals of the Milwaukee Theater District include growing attendance at participating venues; raising awareness of Milwaukee’s performing arts and live entertainment scene; increasing community engagement through events promoting the district and participating groups; and increasing the vibrancy of the district with cohesive branding and collaborative activations.
To support the Milwaukee Theater District, the Milwaukee Theater District Pass, launching November 30, will allow patrons to check into participating theaters and redeem deals on select pre-and-post-show favorites. In addition to check-in incentives at nine theaters, the Milwaukee Admirals, Usinger’s, and Saint Kate -The Arts Hotel will offer exciting deals. Additional deals from Tua Pasta, The Dinner Detective - Milwaukee, East Town Kitchen and Bar, Dairyland, and Bublr Bikes will be added to the pass in the near future. Through checking in and redeeming deals, theater goers will be entered to win the Ultimate Milwaukee Theater District Giveaway. For more information about the Milwaukee Theater District Pass, visit visitmilwaukee.org/mketheaterpass.
Advertising for the Milwaukee Theater District will begin November 30 and appear on multiple digital mediums within a six-hour drive. Local awareness will be generated through the Holiday Lights Brochure, participating partner newsletters, Milwaukee365.com, skywalk advertising, and an eventual Milwaukee Theater District newsletter.
The Milwaukee Theater District will also sponsor two forthcoming skating events that promote Broadway shows at the Marcus Performing Arts Center. The first will take place January 20, 2023 at Red Arrow Park featuring the music of Hairspray the Broadway Musical, which will be at the Marcus Performing Arts Center Feb. 7-12, 2023. The second skating event takes place February 18 at Red Arrow Park with the music from Frozen the Broadway Musical, which will be at the Marcus Center April 6-16, 2023. For more information on Milwaukee Theater District events and activations, visit milwaukee365.com/mketheaterdistrict.
Download Milwaukee Theater District graphics here.
To mark the launch of this new initiative, a press conference will be held at the Riverside Theater Wednesday, November 30 at 3 p.m.
When: 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30
Where: Riverside Theater
Speakers: Remarks by Mayor Cavalier Johnson along with leaders of the Milwaukee Theater District venues and supporting groups.
Parking: Paid parking is recommended at the Gimbels Structure, 555 N. Plankinton Ave. Milwaukee.
Please RSVP here if you plan to attend or email Ian Thompson at [email protected] if you have any additional questions.
Launched in 2022, the Milwaukee Theater District represents a group of venues and civic promoters who seek to drive increased awareness of the community’s world-class performing arts and live entertainment offerings. With no formal boundaries, the Milwaukee Theater District is a collaborative marketing effort that utilizes advocacy and cooperative marketing campaigns to drive visitation, stoke local pride, and enhance the city's reputation as a top-tier arts and cultural destination. The Milwaukee Theater District includes nine founding venues, four founding performing arts organizations, and three founding support groups, representing a wide array of programming and venue experiences. Learn more at mketheaterdistrict.com.